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Eyes to the Skies

Monday afternoon Falcon Watch 2-13-17

February 13th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was quite blustery and overcast with a temperature of 28 (F) -2 (C)

I spent more time looking for falcons today than actually watching them. There was no sign of Billie or Seth when I left or when I returned home to Seneca Towers. I found Beauty from the hole on the top I-beam southeast side of OCSR on my way through downtown to go walk Bella. She flew off when I was tweeting so I moved on.

img_0007-beauty

After walking my canine buddy, Bella I went in search of the 2 falcons that have been seen in Brighton. No luck finding them at the Brighton Site (BS), DSS or the apartment building on Plymouth Ave. at Genesee St. It’s called Brooks Crossing on google maps but the stone wall out front of it says Brooks Landing. I returned to downtown hoping to find Dot.ca (DC) this time and I wasn’t disappointed. I spotted both he and the Beautyful one on OCSR, top I-Beam southeast side.

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I watched them first from the hole, then over on Graves St. next to Aqueduct Park and finally from the Radisson Hotel by Main St.

img_0015-beauty<Beauty img_0017-dc<DC

They both flew off to the west out of view and a few seconds later Beauty returned to circle above the river and Radisson Hotel a few times before settling on the same I-beam of OCSR she had just vacated. Soon after, DC joined his Beautyful mate landing just 3 windows across from her.

beauty-2 img_0015-beauty1 img_0020-b<Beauty

img_0024-dc img_0025-dc img_0027-dc

DC was napping on and off when I left them.

img_0028-bdc<Click it to see the full version

When I got home and didn’t find Billie or Seth I took a ride down to Seneca Park to check out the water birds to kill some time, hoping they would be there when I returned but no such luck.

img_0037-cygnet-mute-swan-and-ducks img_0044-swan-eating swan

I ended my watch around 3:30pm after sharing space with our downtown pair of Peregrine Falcons, Beauty and DC who always put a smile on my face! :)

Click on the links below to check out today’s videos

https://youtu.be/Hd2dVX5qGPk

https://youtu.be/jdv-Tpmq_M0

https://youtu.be/iEUm0H1JTXU

Saturday Falcon Watch - 2/4/17

February 4th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was a very cold day with temps in the 20’s (F).  Some sun, some light snow.  A good day to go out for a falcon watch, as long as you stayed in your car.  Brrrr!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to get out.  I badly needed fresh air and to see a falcon or two or three or……  :)

I decided to check on the falcons that have been seen at the Brighton Site (BS) and a nearby building.  There was a falcon on one of the windows of this building.  Based on size, I believe it is a male.  Most of the time I was there, he had his back to me.  Finally he stood up, showing me his legs and letting me know he had no bands.  That was very kind of him.  lol

Here are a couple pictures of this handsome tiercel.

2-dss-falcon-2-4-17-23-dss-falcon-2-4-17-2

My next stop was the BS location, where I found the unbanded female we have been seeing there.  She too had her back to me and she was napping.

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Are these two just visiting for the winter?  Do they have mates and territories of their own that they’ll return to?  We’ll keep watching!

It was time to head downtown to look for Beauty and Dot.ca.  I found them both side-by-side on the north side of OCSR on the top Ibeam.

9-bdc-on-ocsr-2-4-17-27-bdc-on-ocsr-2-4-17-28-bdc-on-ocsr-2-4-17-2

They were both settled in and all was peaceful and quiet downtown.

On my way home, I stopped at Maplewood Park to check out Seneca Towers.  Sadly, Billie and Seth were not home.  It was time for me to end my watch.

I was very happy to have seen 4 falcons today!  :)

A short but successful Falcon Watch 1-30-17

January 30th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was partly sunny with lake effect snow squalls and a temperature of 20 (F) -7 (C)

My watch officially started around noon when I spotted Seth out over the river sky dancing while I was eating my lunch. Ah, my favorite thing about living at Seneca Towers (ST)! So after lunch I left and found both Billie and Seth on the south side top window ledge. They were facing each other at opposite ends.

Be sure to click on the pics to see the full version

img_0003-billie-and-seth img_0009-buffalo-billieimg_0010-seth

Buffalo Billie had a very full crop which I believe is the reason she wasn’t interested when Seth flew off and came back seemingly wanting to mate. When she didn’t lift her tail for him he landed on the ledge a couple feet away from her.

seth-taking-off seth see-ya-sethSeth takes off

img_0011-lovebirds img_0013-billie img_0017-seth

seth-returns seth-coming-in downSeth returns

I left them after a few more minutes and headed for downtown. I arrived in the hole just in time to see the Beautyful one fly off the 2nd I-beam southeast side of OCSR and go over to the base of Mercury where Dot.ca (DC) was eating. He grabbed his prize and flew over to OCSR as she landed on the base.

img_0025-beauty-ready-for-takeoff img_0026-dc-leaves-with-the-goods

About a minute later Beauty flew over to OCSR and flew past DC a couple times to check out what he was eating before landing on the top I-beam near the south corner. Meanwhile, DC was eating near the elevator shaft on that same I-beam.

img_0029-beauty img_0030-beauty-poops img_0032-bdc img_0034-dc<DC img_0036-hi-beautyful<Beauty

DC stashed a small piece of his meal in the corner and as he turned around Beauty flew in, ran right behind him to grab the food as he flew off to the second I-beam below her. He kept looking over his shoulder at his mate as she finished off the snack he left behind.

img_0040-beauty img_0053-i-got-his-stash-mak img_0058-there-goes-the-last-of-it<Beauty

img_0042-she-has-my-stash-mak img_0043-dc img_0081-dc<DC

I had to leave them to go walk Bella (fellow watcher, Jeanne’s dog) and check the Brighton Site (BS).

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When Bella and I arrived at BS the female winter visitor was there on the south extension, 3 windows down in the corner where it meets the east extension. She stood there perched but turned sideways instead of showing me her back as she usually does.

img_0084-bs-falcon img_0086-bsf img_0090-bsf

I had to get Bella home and run a couple errands so I ended my watch there at 2:30pm. There was plenty to smile about today as the sun was out much of the time and I saw our 4 resident Rochester Peregrine Falcons plus our winter visitor! :)

Click on the links below to check out today’s videos

https://youtu.be/bBGQvy9-QWQ

https://youtu.be/WS9kfRe-nF4

https://youtu.be/fKMXtWZGCLE


Saturday Falcon Watch Pictures - 1/21/17

January 25th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Just wanted to catch up and share some pictures I took of Beauty and Dot.ca this past Saturday.  They were both out and about, hunting and sharing a meal.  Here are some pictures I took during my watch.  Enjoy!

1-beauty-on-ww-1-21-172-beauty-on-ww-1-21-173-beauty-on-ww-1-21-17<— Beauty hunting off Widows Walk.

4-dc-b-on-mercury-1-21-175-dc-b-on-mercury-1-21-176-dc-b-on-mercury-1-21-17

7-dc-b-on-mercury-1-21-178-dc-b-on-mercury-1-21-17<— Beauty & Dot.ca sharing a meal on base of Mercury.

9-dc-on-wilder-1-21-1710-dc-on-wilder-1-21-17

11-dc-on-wilder-1-21-1712-dc-on-wilder-1-21-17<— Dot.ca on Wilder Bldg Fire Escape.

Earlier on Saturday, I also saw both Billie and Seth on the west side railing at Seneca Tower.  I was driving by and did not get any pictures.  But, I did see all 4 Rochester resident falcons that day, which made it a very good day!

Afternoon Falcon Watch 1-23-17

January 23rd, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was a balmy 44 (F) 7 (C) degrees with a slight breeze and overcast skies

I started my watch at Seneca Towers (ST) with Seth. He was on the south end of the building on the top window ledge and he had a very full crop.

Make sure to click the pics to see the full version

img_0004-seth img_0012-seth img_0006-serious-seth

I didn’t find Billie and so I moved on to downtown where I stopped on the Andrews St. bridge. From there, I could see Beauty on the top I-beam of OCSR west corner and Dot.ca (DC) further down closer to the north corner.

img_0015-bdc

A couple minutes later the Beautyful one flew off to the southwest and DC followed right behind her.

img_0020-dc img_0026-b img_0028-beauty-taking-off

They disappeared behind the Crossroads building and when I caught up I spotted DC on the Mercury money bag (MMB)  from the hole. From there I could clearly see that he had food in his crop.

img_0032-dc img_0035-dc img_0033-dc

I left for the Brighton site (BS) after unsuccessfully finding where Beauty had gone. There were no falcons at BS when I checked. After walking Bella I returned to downtown and found Beauty back on the top I-beam west corner of OCSR. I watched her from the hole first and then drove around the corner to Graves St. where I could share space with her from a closer place albeit a bad angle.

img_0041-beautyful img_0043-b img_0049-b

I left her to it so I could look for DC before going home. From Bragdon Place at the north end of the Radisson Hotel I found him in the OCSR elevator shaft on the south side ledge.

img_0053-dc

And that’s all she wrote as nobody was home at Seneca Towers. I ended my watch with a smile after seeing 3 of our 4 resident Rochester Peregrine Falcons! :)

Click on the links below to see today’s videos

https://youtu.be/uYx2GAHp6b8

https://youtu.be/u2xQ0FXSNJU

https://youtu.be/DPyaLpAaOXM

Sunday Falcon Watch - 1/15/17

January 16th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was a mostly cloudy day.  Not very good lighting for taking pictures.  But it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t snowing.  It was a very nice winter day.

My good friend and fellow watcher Kathy O and I decided to go out and look for falcons.  Our first stop was the Brighton Site (BS).  It had been over a week since I had seen the female there.  We circled the building twice, but could not find her.  It was time to check out the other tall buildings in the area.  While Kathy drove, I was able to look for a falcon.  There was a small blip on a corner of a building.  I quickly checked it out with my binoculars.  PEFA!  We have a falcon!

We found a spot to park near the building, which turned out to be the DSS bldg.  Based on size it was a female and I could not see any bands.  Could this be our BS female?  We weren’t that far from that bldg.

1-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-172-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-173-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-17

About 15 minutes after we arrived, she took off and flew up to one of the windows on the south side of the building, knocking another bird off.  The chase was on!  This wasn’t a pigeon, it was another, smaller Peregrine Falcon!  She chased it off and then they both returned.  The smaller male landed on top of the building and the female landed on a level below.

6-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-175-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-178-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-17<— Female Peregrine Falcon

7-male-on-dss-bldg-1-15-17<— Male Peregrine Falcon

First the male, then the female took off, hunting over the buildings to the south.  Neither returned to the DSS Bldg.

Jeanne joined us on the watch and we headed back over to the BS location to see if they had gone there.  No luck finding them there either.  I was not able to see any bands on either falcon in any of the pictures I took, so I’m not sure if they were banded or not.

This is the only picture I was able to get of the female when she flew over us.

10-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-179-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-17

We said goodbye to Jeanne and headed downtown where we joined Joyce.  Both Beauty and Dot.ca were on the Frontier Communication Tower’s southeast box.

11-beauty-and-dc-on-fct-1-15-1712-beauty-and-dc-on-fct-1-15-1713-beauty-and-dc-on-fct-1-15-17

We had to end our watch.  It was time to join Lisa and Dana.  We went out to Avon to see if we could find the Short-eared Owls.  We parked near a field and watched two Harriers skimming the tall grass.  Every now and then one would drop down to the ground hunting.  Just after dark, two, maybe three, SE Owls appeared, flying over a farmers field.  They were chasing each other playfully.  Love seeing these winter visitors!

Falcon Watch 1-16-17

January 16th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was a bright, sunny day with a temperature of  41 (F) 5 (C)

I started my watch this morning around 10:30am with no falcons at Seneca Towers (ST). When I arrived downtown, I found Dot.ca (DC) in the OCSR elevator shaft on the south side ledge.

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I left him quickly as I wanted to check for Beauty before heading over to Brighton to walk Bella and check for falcons at the Brighton site (BS). I found the Beautyful one under the northeast wing of the Times Square building (TSB).

img_0006-beauty img_0007-b img_0009-b

On my way over to BS, I came upon the Red-tailed Hawk (RTH) I saw the other day on a pole near the Ford St. bridge while I was waiting for the traffic light.

rth

After finding no PEFA’s at BS and walking my buddy Bella, I spotted the RTH again on a different pole this time.

img_0014-rth img_0017-rth

It was noon by the time I got back downtown. I spotted Beauty on the Mercury Money Bag (MMB) where she was preening and looking around the river and surrounding area.

img_0026-beauty img_0027-b img_0041-b img_0042-b

After a while, I left the hole to check the elevator shaft for DC but he was gone. From the Andrews St. bridge I spotted him over on the Frontier Communications tower (FCT). I drove over to Fitzhugh St. in front of City Hall for a closer look at him.

img_0045-dc img_0051-dc img_0054-dc

DC was preening and stretching as I drove around and parked near the Open Door Mission for a different angle on him.

img_0061-dc img_0063-dc img_0069-dc

I left him to it as I went  to run a couple errands on East Ridge Rd. To my surprise I saw a falcon on the glass peaked roof at the Medley Center Mall in Irondequoit. I immediately thought of Big Frankie as this used to be her hunting place. Unfortunately, it wasn’t her but I believe it was Billie from ST. She had a black over green leg band on her left leg and a silver band on the right leg. I didn’t get a clear enough shot to see the numbers/letters on the band but it sure did look like her to me.

img_0070-billie img_0084-billie img_0086-billie

She took off to the west and I left to finish my errands.

img_0088-billie1 mc-falcon img_0090-take-off

I then spotted her on a light pole over by the Target store but couldn’t stay as I was running behind-she flew off going really low around the northwest corner of the mall and I didn’t see her when I was leaving. I finally got home around 3:15pm and was happy to see who I believe was Seth on the northwest corner of Seneca Towers. I stopped at the Northridge Church where I first saw him but his back was to me so I went to my spot on Seth Green Dr. He was just hanging out all scrunched down looking around his territory.

img_0104-seth img_0108-seth img_0113-seth

I ended my watch smiling as I always do after seeing Rochester’s Peregrine Falcons! :)

Click on the links below to see today’s videos

https://youtu.be/_rYyaSzA25Q

https://youtu.be/C5-Z6MVPFyA

Saturday Morning Falcon Watch - 1/14/17

January 14th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was 25 degrees and cloudy during my Saturday Morning Falcon Watch.  Today I wanted to check out all the local falcon locations, starting at the Brighton Site (BS).

Brighton Site (BS) - No Falcons found.  There were some crows hanging out and groups of pigeons were flying nearby.  Very quiet there.

Downtown Rochester - It didn’t take me long to find Beauty and Dot.ca.  Both were on the old City Hall’s Widows Walk.  Beauty was eating on the NW corner.  Looked like pigeon was on the menu.  Dot.ca was watching from the west side railing.  He was very patient, waiting for Beauty to fill her crop before moving in to take a share of her meal.  They chatted softly for a few seconds and then he took a small piece of the prey.

1-beauty-and-dc-on-ww-1-14-172-beauty-and-dc-on-ww-1-14-173-beauty-and-dc-on-ww-1-14-17

4-dc-on-ww-1-14-175-beauty-on-ww-1-14-176-beauty-and-dc-on-ww-1-14-17

Here’s a short video snippet showing Beauty and Dot.ca sharing a meal.  Just click on this YouTube link.

https://youtu.be/OXyXbtvHoLg

After a few bites, Dot.ca took off with his food heading north.

Beauty continued to eat for a few moments and then took off leaving her leftovers.  She headed in the same direction as Dot.ca.

7-beauty-take-off-from-ww-1-14-17

From Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”), I found Beauty on the OCSR, 2nd Ibeam down, west corner.  Now to find Dot.ca.

It wasn’t too hard.  I would recognize that tail anywhere.  lol

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Dot.ca was on the northeast corner of the Ellwanger and Barry Bldg.  At first, I could only see his tail.  He then turned around and peaked over the top of the roof.  He and Beauty could easily see each other.

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It took him about a 1/2 hour to finish his meal.  Afterwards, he took off flying towards the OCSR, joining Beauty there.  He was on the Ibeam above her on the north corner.

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14-beauty-and-dc-on-ocsr-1-14-1712-beauty-on-ocsr-1-14-1713-dc-on-ocsr-1-14-17

I left them, both with full crops, to continue my watch.

Seneca Towers (ST) - Both Billie and Seth were home.  From across the river, I could see them close to each other on the west side railing.

15-billie-and-seth-on-st-1-14-1716-billie-and-seth-on-st-1-14-17

Charlotte/Summerville - My last stop.  It was really hard for me to check out this area, but I hoped to catch a glimpse of Genesee’s red taped mate.  Too many memories there.  Sadly, I did not see her today.  I hope she’s safe and doing well on her own.

I was happy to end my watch after seeing our two resident pairs.  All was peaceful and quiet.  Just how I like it.

A fun Falcon Watch 1-11-17

January 11th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was breezy, partly cloudy and warm with a balmy, starting temperature of 45 (F) 7 (C)

Seneca Towers has been getting heavy vents and supplies placed on the roof by a huge crane the past few days so Billie and Seth have not been around lately.

Click on the pics to see the full version

img_0001-seneca-towers

After no success at finding them I left for downtown and from the Andrews St. bridge (ASB) I spotted who, I think was Dot.ca (DC) on the northeast corner of City Place. By the time I got over there he was gone.

img_0002-dc-perhaps

As I was turning onto State St. I spotted Beauty flying west from over the Holiday Inn, State St.  and the Sister Cities Parking Garage. I lost her and when I stopped I spotted DC over on the north corner top I-beam of OCSR. After a few minutes he flew off right over me and took the same route as the Beautyful one.

img_0015-dc img_0021-dc img_0022-dc-takes-off1

I drove around and around looking for them but never did find them. I stopped on the Court St. bridge to check life down in the river and found that the east side bank was being landscaped by a couple earth movers. There were gulls flying and hanging out on a frozen part of the river below.

move-it river-life<Click

I left and checked the Brighton site with no luck. However, on the way over I watched a Red-tail Hawk land on a light pole. It was in hunt mode as it kept watching for rodents below it. He dove down and came back up with a talon full of grass and a mouse. He proceeded to another pole to eat his lunch and I might add, made quick work of it in a minute or so.

img_0027-rth img_0029-rth img_0032-going-for-lunch<Click

img_0040-rth img_0042-yum

I returned to downtown a while later and again from the ASB I spotted both Beauty and DC side by side on the northeast corner of City Place. And once again when I got there they were gone. You gotta love falcon games. I suspect there was food on the roof and they were jumping down to it out of my sight.  I headed home and as I was driving down Norton St. I watched a Merlin land on a power pole. Merlins are also falcons, a bit larger than an American Kestrel, (also a falcon) and smaller than Peregrines. I knew it was a falcon by the way it flew and the shape of its wings.

img_0063-merlin img_0070-norton img_0071-norton img_0073-merlin

This Merlin was in hunt mode as he looked in every direction. He pooped a couple times and stretched his wings while I shared space with him. I haven’t seen very many Merlins in my travels so I watched him for a bit until I had to move my car. When I looked again it was gone!

img_0074-merelin<Clickimg_0082-merlin stretch

When I got home at 3:30pm there was no crane and no falcons. I ended my watch smiling after a fun little watch! :)

Click on the links below to see today’s videos

https://youtu.be/7K_b-EBsNu8

https://youtu.be/dhGd9RaRmQM

Saturday Falcon Watch - 1/7/17

January 11th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

My Saturday falcon watch started out very happy and ended on a very sad note.  It was my intention to do my normal Rochester Falcon headcount last weekend.  I was very happy to find four  of our falcons, Billie or Seth (I couldn’t tell which one) at ST, Beauty and Dot.ca downtown and who I believe was our unbanded female at the BS location.  It was very quiet and peaceful in all those locations.

1-billie-or-seth-at-st-1-7-17<— Billie or Seth at Seneca Towers (ST)

2-beauty-on-cross-rds-1-7-17<— Beauty on Cross Rds. (Downtown Rochester)

3-dc-in-ocsr-elevator-shaft-1-7-17<— Dot.ca in the OCSR elevator shaft. (Downtown Rochester)

5-beauty-on-tsb-1-7-17<— Beauty on the Times Square Bldg’s NE wing ledge. (Downtown Rochester)

4-bs-gal-1-7-17<— I believe this is the unbanded female at the BS location. (Brighton Site)

I started my watch in the Charlotte/Summerville area, checking both sides of the river.  That’s where I always started my falcon watches since we had been seeing Genesee there.  Hoping to see him and his mate.  Sadly we lost him that day.

I have seen many sad things during the years I have been a Rochester Falcon Watcher.  Things I have never spoken to anyone about.  But, there are so many moments of joy while watching these beautiful creatures.  I can’t imagine a world without them.

Fly Free beautiful Genesee.  I will miss you so much. <3

fly-free-genesee-carol-2-1-7-17


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